November 27, 2013

Book Reviews (XVII)

Book review: Like a Women Scorned by Randi Hart

Book Blurb
Girl meets boy—specifically, knockout senior-paralegal girl Alison Carson meets hotshot Boston lawyer boy Rick Waterman while he is visiting Alison’s beloved hometown of San Francisco on a month-long trial.

Girl and boy fall in love. Boy eventually goes back home and promises to call. Boy doesn’t call. Girl experiences heartbreak, plus an actual physical malady as a result of the affair. Girl then finds out about boy’s other girl back home.

Girl wants revenge. Girl secretly gets revenge, but goes too far with it. Boy’s life is wrecked. Girl then feels guilty.

Boy finally calls girl and apologizes. Boy and girl fall back in love. That is, until boy starts getting suspicious…

   The salespeople at the wig store raved over Alison’s choice. They insisted she was definitely “a should-be blonde” with those gorgeous blue eyes. It was fun to have that kind of attention, although Alison knew they were primarily motivated by making the sale. Good wigs like that, which looked natural and could actually fool people, were quite expensive. Alison paid plenty for hers. She told the sales staff she would wear it home, and they loved that, cheering her on. She left the store feeling in charge of her destiny for the first time in months.
   Walking in Boston was invigorating, and quite different from San Francisco. Different culture, different history, different values—but an outstanding place to be nonetheless. Alison felt she could easily live here, even with the occasional extreme weather at both ends of the scale. She was fascinated by the architecture of the office buildings in Boston and could spend hours walking through them.
   Her foreign reflection in an office window caught her attention. Wow. Not bad, kid. As Rick’s office building drew near, Alison felt stronger. Maybe there was something to being a blonde after all.
   There was the Starbucks on the bottom floor. That’s the place Rick said he went every day. Now she felt a tiny surge of apprehension. Maybe a good dose of caffeine would fix that. In the doors she went. The young man behind the counter brushed his hair with his hand as Alison approached.
They delivered her latte, she turned around, and there was Rick—standing right next to her. He was literally inches away.
   Alison found herself in a temporary state of shock. She stood in place and swirled her swizzle stick rapidly. For a brief second, she was sure he recognized her and was about to say something. But then he stepped forward and the barrister handed him a coffee. Apparently, they knew Rick well enough in that place to start pouring it for him as soon as he came through the door. Alison then realized Rick didn’t recognize her and she was pulling it off—so far, anyway.
   As jarring as that experience was, it also seemed natural in a way. Standing next to him, seeing him, this wasn’t something so out-of-place. He looked his same dashing self, one of the most handsome men on the planet by any method you care to judge by. There was no denying that, even if he was a cheating bastard. Heck, maybe all the best looking men in the world were all cheating bastards.
   But there was something about his eyes today. They were …vacant, hollow, void of emotion or any feeling. It wasn’t Alison’s imagination. How scary. Maybe there was trouble in paradise already. He had looked right at Alison for a couple of seconds with no discernible reaction. Alison found she had a fleeting moment of sympathy for him. Very fleeting. This was the man responsible for messing up her life, for sending her to therapy.
   He took his coffee and walked out the Starbucks interior doors towards the building elevator. So much for the first encounter. That would do for today. Alison went sightseeing.
   She went back to the Starbucks the next day, however, at a time when business was slow. Two young men who worked there and were obviously smitten with her appearance struck up a conversation with her.  One of them said he remembered her from yesterday. Alison mentioned she was out of work and looking for a job, waiting for agencies to call back, and thought this seemed like a great place for her to hang out as there were no weirdoes around. So she sat down and played with her cell phone, perused a magazine, and occasionally chatted further with the two male staff members. Both of them seemed determined to cater to her every need, to the obvious chagrin of the girl who was also working there that day.
   Rick showed up at 9:30 to get a coffee. An hour later he was back for another. Alison took a risk and asked the girl barrister who the gorgeous man was.

My Review

Randi Hart is one of those authors whose story just enthralls you. I was eating up the pages in Like a Woman Scorned and not even realizing that I was practically done with the book in a couple of hours. Lots of action in this read and the whole mystery and intrigue going on.

A very promising beginning, the Prologue, that plunges the reader in the middle of mystery, shows Carley, the tall, thin, blue-eyed blonde secretary, trying to remove all her traces from the office where she worked. She couldn’t afford to make a mistake born of complacency now. She inspected all the surfaces, the shelves in every book case, going over them twice until she was certain she left no trace. It’s the little things that usually trip up criminals, so Carley paid close attention to all the details.

Then the author takes us to San Francisco, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We meet Alison, a senior paralegal, who falls in love with Richard Waterman, the most handsome man she’d seen in a long time. Rick was divorced five years, with two children now in college, a boy and a girl. Alison is a well developed character, whose drastic actions lead to drastic consequences.

A typical 'girl meets boy' type of story one will say. Not at all. I don't want to spoil other readers' pleasure so I won't give you more details, but I can tell you that Like a Woman Scorned is full of twists and turns up to the end. The ending really good, unexpected, at least. And I will conclude my review with the words used as a motto at the beginning:

“Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.”

I'd have liked a bit more dialogue instead of telling, but it may be just me.

I give it five stars.   
I was offered a complimentary copy of the book, by the author, with no obligations whatsoever.

About the Author
Hi, I’m Randi. As you may have guessed, I spent many wonderful years living in the city of San Francisco. I hope to return there one day. Currently I live in Southern California with my wonderful husband. We travel a lot, especially to the east coast and Asia.

Life certainly has its rough patches. I have been that single woman breaking up from a destructive relationship myself more times than I care to recount. But the right guy did come along and things have been awesome ever since. Hang in there, my single girlfriends. He is out there. You might meet him anywhere, any time—except, of course, in your house. So get out there. You might not have to go any farther than your front yard, who knows?

November 24, 2013

Reviews (XX)

Star's review posted on and rated 4 of 5 stars


‘Shadows of the Past’ brings us Anne and Neil, a couple looking for reconciliation, and Genevieve, a centuries-dead nun looking for her eternal rest. Ms. Stefanescu’s writing is sublime – the descriptions are vivid and the characters are well-developed. The path to Anne and Neil’s happiness lies in solving the centuries-old mystery of Genevieve, but no one said it would be easy. 

I fell into ‘Shadows of the Past’ quickly and as the present was interspersed with the past, the story blossomed into one of star-crossed lovers, a great evil, and reincarnation. Beautifully written and decadently dark, ‘Shadows of the Past’ will capture your attention, keep you guessing, and surprise you with a interesting twist at the end.

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November 15, 2013

Review (XIX)

 Shadows of the Past -5.0 out of  5 stars  

A gripping, haunting tale, September 23, 2013
Adrianne Brennan "Romantic dark fantasy. (Boston, MA USA) - This review is from: Shadows of the Past (Kindle Edition)

I am not normally a reader of historical fiction, but I am a lover of paranormal tales. This particular story gripped me from the start, and I could not put it down. I devoured it in one sitting and loved every moment. The author manages to paint in very vivid detail Genevieve's world back in the 15th century and her beautiful but tragic life. The intrigue with the nun Genevieve's past, the tension between Anne and Neil, all of it is very intense. The suspense had me sucked in from start to finish. The back and forth between Anne's life and Genevieve's was fascinating and you can't help but wonder why there is such a strong connection between two women from very different time periods. Although I managed to figure it out, the bond between Anne and Genevieve was portrayed in such a powerful and beautiful way. Of the two, I was struck the most by the story of Genevieve. Genevieve's own story is as haunting as her ghost, and stays with you even after the book is over. It an amazing tale of love, mystery, magic, and evil. I especially enjoyed the contrast between the cursed forest and the "wood anemone". Amidst the darkness of Genevieve's life and world, the ending of the book provided both light and hope. I look forward to reading more from this author.
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